Child number 2 wants to jump out of an aeroplane.
That’s it really. What else can I say?
She turns 18 next month. She is her own woman and she wants to do a sky dive for charity. Every sinew in my body is screaming NOOOOOOO!
This is my baby who I have protected and kept safe from harm since the day she was born. I taught her that the kettle was hot, that roads are dangerous, that taking sweeties from strangers is a bad idea. I have anticipated and prevented every reasonable risk that might befall her and made sure that she was kept safe in her cottonwool cocoon.
And now she wants to hurl herself from a plane 14.000 feet above the ground. The mere thought of it sends a shadow skittering across my soul. I think the worst part is that it seems like such an unnecessary risk to take. She had to leave me for her first sleepover, walk to school unaccompanied, go out drinking with strangers. These are all part of growing up. They seem scary and dangerous at the time but they are just part of growing up. But leaping from a plane….?
What I have to remember is that keeping her safe is not all I’ve done for her. I’ve taught her right from wrong, to think of others before herself, to be strong-minded and independent and above all, to be brave and push herself out of her comfort zone. If I look at it that way then sky diving for charity ticks all the boxes and shows that she’s listened to me and taken it all in.
And anyway, who am I to say that she mustn’t do it? That’s me sailing above the French Alps.